Self builder confusion: BC(A)R SI.9

by bregs blog admin team

confusion

One could forgive the self-builders for being confused as to their status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014) from 1st March onwards.

• In an Institute of Engineers of Ireland conference in January 2014 the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Department of the Environment (DOE) and Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI)  representatives present all agreed that owners taking-on the role of main contractor would be deemed non-compliant with the regulation from 1st March onwards.

• On January 23rd 2014 the CIF director of housing Hubert Fitzpatrick in an interview confirmed that self-building would not be possible after 1st March 2014. Local councillors appeared to also be inadequately briefed as noted in a radio interview on Sligo FM on 6th February also.

• In numerous written answers to TD’s Minister Hogan has contradicted this view suggesting self-building could continue as before under the new regulation.

• The minister’s view  was confirmed by the  Director of the architect’s representative body the RIAI, John Graby, in an interview on 6th February 2014, suggesting self-building was still possible under BC(A)R SI.9.

• This confusion was added to in guidance issued by local authorities stating that an owner could elect to be the builder on commencement providing a competent builder sign the completion certificate. Different to all of the above.

• Finally we have the recently FAQ section on www.localgov.ie which seemed to offer contradictory advice within its own section regarding owners assuming the roles of builder on commencement, and builders signing completion documentation. The site suggests that an owner could undertake to self-build on commencement but would be unable to occupy the completed building until sign-off by a “Builder”. No mention that the “Builder” signing-off could be the owner etc.

The one consistent line of course which has not changed is that on the completion certificate for a builder  in SI.9 which states “(to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only)“- see form below.

We have a minister and his department with different interpretations of the regulation, two key stakeholders: the CIF and the RIAI also with different opinions, followed by local authorities and localgov.ie who have yet more interpretations of the self-builder status under BC(A)R SI.9.

We have 5 days before implementation of the regulation.

Extract of SI.9 Builder’s completion certificate:

SI9 Builder's cert

Radio Clip: Hubert Fitzpartick of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF Director of Housing) on Building Control (Amendment) Regulation on SI.9 of 2014. Radio Kerry podcast:

http://media.radiokerry.ie/mediamanager/embed/player/podcasts/9/item/17585

Radio Clip: John Graby of RIAI on Building Control (Amendment) Regulation on SI.9 of 2014. Ocean FM: Thursday 6th Feb 2014. Segment starts 1:03:16 to 1:12:13:  https://m.soundcloud.com/oceanfm/north-west-today-thurs-6th-feb

Radio Clip: Sligo councillors clash over Building Regulation (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). Ocean FM: Thursday 6th Feb 2014. Segment starts 33:53 to 47:24 : http://www.oceanfm.ie/nwt

Ministers written statements (selection of):

Maureen O’Sullivan TD to PH on 30th January on self-builder’s concerns:

http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2014-01-30a.348&s=Building+regulation

Minister Phil Hogans response to Irish Association of Self Builders regarding SI 9 (written answer on 28th January 2014):

http://www.iaosb.com/minister phil hogans response to irish association of self builders regarding si 9.html

Local Authority Public Guidance:

http://www.louthcoco.ie/en/Services/Building_Control/Guide-to-the-Building-Control-Amendment-Regulations-2014.pdf

Link to FAQ section on www.localgov.ie site:

http://localgov.ie/en/link-type/bcms

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